Recipe: Danish Birthday Rolls (fødselsdagsboller).


SK Birthday Buns

Birthday rolls (fødselsdagsboller)

Birthday Buns (well, more like rolls, really, than buns - but they are sweet so lets call them both roll and bun) are not only for birthdays, but perhaps they have this name as they are sweet white buns. In Denmark, where dark rye bread is standard weekday fare for most, soft sweet white bread is a treat. You can use these to make a kagemand, if you like (double the recipe), or simply just enjoy these with a cup of tea. Bronte’s Grandma Inger used to make these for birthdays when she was a kid, and she’d let her put so much butter on them that her teeth made an indent with every bite (this is known as tandsmør in Danish – literally, toothbutter – such a great word).


  • a baking sheet, greased and lined with baking parchment


  • 200 ml 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 50 ml 3 1/2 tablespoons single cream
  • 25 g 1 oz fresh yeast - or 13 g active dry yeast
  • 50 g 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 400 g )3 cups) strong bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 80 g 3/4 stick butter, softened
  • beaten egg for brushing
  • a baking sheet greased and lined with baking parchment


  • Mix together the milk and cream and heat to finger- warm (around 36–37°C/97–98°F).
  • If using fresh yeast, add the yeast and warmed milk- cream to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.
  • If using dried/active dry yeast: pour the warmed milk and cream into a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy. Pour into the stand mixer with a dough hook.
  • Add the sugar and stir again, slowly adding half the flour mixed with the salt. Add the egg and softened butter and keep mixing. Slowly add the other half of the flour. You may not need all the flour or you may need a bit more, but keep mixing until you have a slightly sticky dough that is starting to let go of the sides of the bowl. This should take around 5 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave to rise for around 35–40 minutes or until doubled in size. Size is more important than time left to rise.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead through with your hands, adding only a little more flour if needed. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll them into round balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover again and leave to rise for a further 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
  • Brush each bun lightly with beaten egg, then bake in the preheated oven for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown and baked through. Baking time varies by different ovens, so keep an eye.
  • Remove from the oven and place a damp, clean dish towel on top for a few minutes to prevent the crust from forming. Serve sliced open, with butter and/or some Scandinavian sliced mild cheese.


MAKES 12 – this recipe can easily be doubled. In fact, most would, as that makes enough for a kid’s party.
Recipe taken from Bronte Aurell's book Fika & Hygge and Bronte at Home, published by Ryland, Peters and Small. Photo by Pete Cassidy.

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